More Circle Line stations to open in April

ELEVEN more Circle Line (CCL) stations will begin operations on April 17, Transport Minister Raymond Lim announced yesterday.

These stations, from Dhoby Ghaut to Bartley, are part of the 10.8 kilometre long second phase of the new 33.3 km MRT line. The stations – Tai Seng, MacPherson, Paya Lebar, Dakota, Mountbatten, Stadium, Nicoll Highway, Promenade, Esplanade, Bras Basah and Dhoby Ghaut – will join the five stations from Bartley to Marymount, which were opened on May 28 last year.

About 200,000 people are expected to use the 16 stations – from Dhoby Ghaut to Marymount every day.

‘This is a significant milestone in the expansion of our rail network,’ said Mr Lim, explaining that the direct connection provided by the CCL will cut down travelling time for commuters.

For example, those travelling from Simei to Bishan currently take 46 minutes to travel by MRT. With the CCL, it will require 31 minutes, or a 33 per cent time savings.

The CCL is an orbital line that links to existing train lines to reduce travelling times to suburban areas by bypassing the city centre. When the $6.7 billion line is fully completed, up to 500,000 people are expected to use it daily.

Passengers travelling from the eastern parts of Singapore can use the new Paya Lebar Interchange Station to bypass the busy City Hall and Raffles Place interchanges to get to the city and northern parts of Singapore. Those travelling from the north and north-east commuting to the city and the east will also benefit from the CCL.

Mr Lim added that the rest of the 29 CCL stations will open in 2011. He said that opening the CCL in phases is not cost-effective, but it is good from a commuter perspective.

Earlier, he had visited the award-winning Stadium CCL Station, which is designed to accommodate large crowds from the nearby facilities, before travelling three stops north to Paya Lebar Station

The Paya Lebar Station connects to the East-West Line and is the first interchange station to integrate above-ground and underground lines.

Commuter connectivity between the new CCL station and the East-West Line station is helped by two wide passageways.

Mr Lim noted that the stations paid ‘a lot of attention to detail’ and cited the artwork on the wall, which reflects the history of the surrounding area. In the Paya Lebar Station’s case, there are illustrations of pigs because of the pig farms that used to be located there.

He also thanked those living in the areas along the CCL for putting up with the inconvenience during the construction of the line.

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